La Modestine - Ryan Gosling & a DonkeySunday, September 25, 2016
|Natalie Mackie - Viola da Gambist - La Modestine|
Yesterday Saturday was the kind of day that I will savour for a long time and that I hope my 14 year-old granddaughter will remember someday with warmth towards her by then long-dead grandfather.
I picked up Lauren at noon from her Arts Umbrella Dance class at the 7th and Quebec location. At home we had my creamed in the oven gnocchi. I then asked her to pose with Pancho. Just this time I opted to have her smile for my camera.
Then Rosemary, Lauren and I watched a film, Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 Drive with my hero Ryan Gosling.
About 8 months ago I happened to watch on TV the first 20 minutes of this film. I thought it so good that I did not want to see it alone. I later purchased it and I did now play it until yesterday.
It was the first time I ever saw Gosling and the first film for me with the most interesting approach of its Danish director. Plus the music kept me on edge and it contrasted with Gosling’s cool demeanour (perhaps a brand new version of Steve McQueen and the film a contemporary one of Peter Yates 1968 Bullitt) I mention the music composed by Cliff Martinez as it reminded me of the fact that for Bullitt my Argentine countryman Lalo Schifrin was nominated for an Oscar for his score.
As a formerly Latin American macho I have softened enough in my many years in Canada to state that if I were a woman or gay I would fall for Gosling just like that!
It was very strange to see my Rosemary watch the whole film without once getting up to protest of the violence and go up to her room.
|Lauren Stewart & Pancho|
After the movie Lauren dressed up in a brand new dress and her grandfather put on his Ralph Lauren wool and silk sport coat (and a Smithsonian tie with old pioneering airplanes), black jeans and a very nice shirt. We drove to Hodson Manor on 7th Avenue for an intimate baroque concert (a room with a maximum capacity for about 45 souls).Hodson Manor is occupied by three arts organizations, Early Music Vancouver, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
The concert, called Sudden Beauty of 17th century music from Germany and England featured a super-group foursome (and for that very reason I cannot amply compare them to that great trio that was Cream) of internationally renowned musicians (two, Marc Destrubé, violin, Natalie Mackie,viola da gamba happen to have Vancouver as a home base, one, Michael Jarvis, harpsichord, Victoria and the other Linda Melsted is a violinist from Seattle.
The four have started a group called La Modestine (I will only hint that the name, chosen by Natalie Mackie is about a one of her favourite books and that it involves a donkey from a story by Robert Louis Stevenson). If you go to their web page here you might note this:
La Modestine was formed in 2016 by four renowned musicians who discovered that playing together was one of their great joys. La Modestine's repertoire focuses on music of the baroque for one or two violins, viola da gamba and basso continuo.
Lauren and I arrived early and we were greeted by one of the most beautiful women I have ever known (even though she plays the viola and no longer has blue/green hair) Genevieve MacKay. We sat down on the front row, a mere five feet from where the musicians would sit (the two violinists stood for Johan Viierdanck ( 1605-1646, “en su casa lo conocen”) Sonata a 2 violini soli.
|Linda Melsted - Violinist - La Modestine|
As soon as the four began to play it was patently evident that they loved playing together and that we were in for a marvellous evening. Lauren asked me about Mackie's viola da gamba. After many years of getting this from Mackie, "No, Alejandro you have it all wrong," I was able to explain that the instrument with its flat back and frets is related to the lute and guitar an not to the cello. I had her notice that the instrument had seven strings but that other violas de gamba have six. Up front we were able listen to every note of it.
By the second work, Dietrich Buxtehude’s (his only flaw and very important for 17th century organists was that his daughter was not beautiful) Sonata #2 in a minor Bux 272, for violin, viola da gamba and continuo both of us were tapping our feet on the first movemen an Allegro Chaconne. Because it only had Destrubé on the violin it meant that Linda Melsted sat next to me (a very big thrill!).
|Michael Jarvis - Harspichordist - La Modestine with Rebeccaand lauren Stewart. Paul Luchkow behind with Teddy.|
The second half (after fine wine and cheese) started with Michael Jarvis playing solo harpsichord. He played Henry Purcell’s Suite in D minor Z 668. I have to point out that for many years I considered the harpsichord (an instrument I could hardly ever hear in a baroque orchestra) an ineffectual instrument. Pacific Baroque Orchestra Artistic Director AlexanderWeimann, who is very good at it and explained that a continuo player (the bass line in a baroque group or orchestra) has to improvise like a jazz player. And Michael Jarvis’s playing with a aplomb, grace and a smile on his face have all but changed my mind on the negative qualities of the harpsichord. One day I will ask Déstrube to do the same for the accordion.
|Marc Destrubé - Violinist - La Modestine|
After the concert in which unlike in other venues of music we were able to mingle with the musicians we left to eat Szechuan Chilli restaurant at a nearby restaurant. It was a downer as my Szechuan Chilli Dried Meat was cloyingly sweet. With a good sense of humour Lauren suggested we walk our neighbourhood area of West Broadway and look at the menus.
I took Lauren to her new home in Burnaby and I drove back home feeling pretty happy after a very nice day.
Perhaps like Gosling’s character in Drive I should purchase a pair of black driving gloves.
Dietrich Buxtehude Sonata #2 in Bb Bux 272 Ensemble Fantasticus